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MLBPA makes 89-game offer for 2020, per report

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A New Hope

Tony Clark, executive director of Major League Baseball Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tuesday evening that the MLBPA will make a new proposal to the league that includes an 89-game season and expanded playoffs.

The proposal is for an 89 game season with full prorated salaries for the players. This proposed season would begin July 10th and end October 11th. This proposal also includes an olive branch to the owners for expanded playoffs, which would greatly help revenue for the owners from lucrative national TV deals on playoff games. The expanded playoff addition would apparently be applicable for both the 2020 and 2021 seasons per Jesse Rogers of ESPN as the players seem to really be trying to throw the owners a bone.

This proposal seems encouraging in a number of ways, since it is a substantial move towards the middle by the players, as they sacrifice over 20 games off their original proposal, as Passan notes in his tweet. The timing is also encouraging since this comes only two days after the owners sent their most recent proposal to the players. This could be indicative of the two sides finally showing some sense of urgency towards getting a deal done in what is now the third week of reporters saying “something has to get done this week”.

This comes amidst heightened tensions between the two sides as teams continue to anger players and fans with cuts to minor league pay and baseball staff. Players such as Washington’s Sean Doolittle have been particularly outspoken during the negotiation process.

This may not be the proposal that is ultimately settled on, but it is an encouraging move towards compromise by the players. Hopefully the owners can reciprocate by moving off of their position of only wanting to allocate a certain amount towards player salaries regardless of the length of the season.

UPDATE: Passan fully expects the owners to decline the offer, but seems to think that this is much closer to the number of games the sides will eventually end up agreeing on. He notes that TV networks don’t want to move playoff game dates, so the owners are holding fast to ending the season on September 27th.